#Cinemalaya2017 Reviews: “Bagahe,” “Respeto,” “Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa”

Bagahe

BAGAHE by Zig Dulay

The film is literally and figuratively about Baggage. You’ll  know a Zig Dulay film when you see one and this is definitely one of his works. Bagahe tells the story of Mercy, an OFW who just flew back home to reunite with her family but will later on be investigated for an incident that happened in the airplane she rode.

Bagahe is literally and figuratively about baggage. The baggage of Mercy (Bayani) all throughout the film. And it was a heavy baggage not only for the character of Mercy but also for the audience. The film made sure that whatever it is Mercy is going through, it will be felt and will be carried by the audience as well.

It’s heaviness is a difficult experience and this wouldn’t be effective if not for the amazing performance of Angeli Bayani. Bagahe left me speechless of how I got to carry the emotional baggage of Mercy as I left the cinema. The realizations of what bad experiences that led to trauma can do to a person and how the film can affect the audience through the story of Mercy.


Respeto

RESPETO by Treb Monteras

Arguably the best of the bunch, Treb Monteras’ Respeto surprises the audience by offering a story that has its own identity, its own voice, amplified by magnetic performances from Abra and Dido dela Paz.

The film is about a young boy who dreams of becoming a famous rapper through underground fliptop battles but with lack of education and a challenging life, even a little inspiration for poetry is hard to reach. Until he meets a man who owns a bookstore in an unconventional way.

The plot of Respeto is not new, bad boy meets an unusual person who becomes his mentor. But it still gets to feel fresh and exciting for giving a voice to the rapping industry today in the big screen. Abra who is at home with his character translates his portrayal into a believable performance from his pains, anger, joy and rapping skills. But the most memorable character in the film is Dido dela Paz’s Doc, where he fully embraced his role and you can see and feel every move and every word is from Doc.

For a person who doesn’t like cursing or hearing curses, I really enjoyed Respeto with all of my heart.


Ang Guro Kong di Marunong Magbasa

ANG GURO KONG DI MARUNONG MAGBASA by Perry Escano

Entering the theater hearing bad reviews, I lowered my expectations with Perry Escano’s Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa. But boy, it wasn’t enough.

From the title itself, you know that the film is part advocacy, and it is. The message of the film is obviously there, but getting that message through is tedious and maybe lost its way with awkward dramas and laughable scenarios.

It means well as it tries to tackle a lot of issues such as poverty and politics, but the way it wants to tell its story feels amateurish and how it stitch its storylines is messy. Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa may have Miggs Cuaderno, Micko Laurente and Mark Justin Alvarez, but these talented kids can’t seem to save the film’s ridiculous story.

Cinemalaya Posters 00

Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival runs until August 13 at CCP Theaters and select Ayala Malls Cinemas.

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